immune system uses
white blood cells to fight infection. These cells
release chemicals that kill both bacteria and surrounding normal cells. After
attacking the bacteria, the white blood cells die, adding to the thickness of
mucus and damaging the lungs of people who have
cystic fibrosis. Dornase alfa (DNase) helps liquefy
and thin mucus by clearing out
DNA from the dead white blood cells.
DNase is given through a
nebulizer and is inhaled into the lungs.
DNase is used to thin and liquefy
mucus in the lungs of children and adults with cystic fibrosis who have lung
DNase thins mucus so it can be
coughed up more easily. It improves breathing and reduces the chance of
All medicines have side effects. But many people don't feel the side effects, or they are able to deal with them. Ask your pharmacist about the side effects of each medicine you take. Side effects are also listed in the information that comes with your medicine.
Here are some important things to think about:
Call 911 or other emergency services right away if you have:
Call your doctor if you have:
Common side effects of this medicine include:
The long-term effects of this drug are not yet
See Drug Reference for a full list of side effects. (Drug Reference is not available in all systems.)
DNase must be used regularly for
it to work well.
Do not use DNase solution if it is cloudy or discolored.
Medicine is one of the many tools your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may prevent future problems. If you don't take your medicines properly, you may be putting your health (and perhaps your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people have trouble taking their medicine. But in most cases, there is something you can do. For suggestions on how to work around common problems, see the topic Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant, do not use any medicines unless your doctor tells you to. Some medicines can harm your baby. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and supplements. And make sure that all your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get pregnant.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Complete the new medication information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this medication.
May 14, 2012
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Susanna McColley, MD - Pediatric Pulmonology
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